Sunday, December 31, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for Jan 1 - Jan 7)

It's a new year and I'm back to meal planning!  I took the whole month of December off and did a lot of non-cooking, leftovers and easy meals all month.  Plus we ate out a lot since we were on vacation for 10 days in the month.  It was nice to be a little more low key with cooking and planning but it was not nice to my waistline.  So we are buckling down, planning our meals and eating healthy with the hopes of losing some weight this year.

I got a new toy for Christmas and I am already in love!
Santa brought me the 8 quart instant pot and I have already cooked two things in it and loved every minute of it.  I can't wait to play with it even more this year and see what else I can make.  My first meal was Parmesan Risotto and it was super easy and super delicious.  I love risotto but it takes so much time and is very labor intensive so I never make it.  It will be on our menu more often now I'm sure.  I also tried to make homemade mac and cheese when the boys ran out of the boxed stuff.  It was quick and good, but the boys didn't like it because of the dijon mustard.  So I'll try a different recipe this week for them.
I'll continue to share my meal plan each week as well as reviewing some of the recipes from the week before.  I will also be trying at least one new instant pot recipe each week, at least for the first few months of the year.  And I'll continue to share my overnight oats recipes each week as well.  I'm excited to get back to being a little more organized and a lot more healthy!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Ribs & Saurkraut - traditional New Year's Day meal in our house, but I will be making them in my instant pot because I'm using any excuse to use this thing! 
Tuesday - Dinner at a friend's house - she's making spaghetti & I'm bringing a salad
Wednesday - Cauliflower, Potato & Corn Chowder with salads for the adults and Mac & Cheese in the instant pot for the boys
Thursday - Jambalaya - in the instant pot of course!
Friday - Parmesan Chicken and Green Beans
Saturday - Shrimp Scampi Tacos with Caesar Salad Slaw
Sunday - Chili - yup, you guessed it, in the instant pot

Water Flavor - Orange.  I still have a few free oranges from my mother in law so I'm hoping to use them up this week.

Overnight Oats - Since I haven't shopped in almost two weeks, I'm at the mercy of what I have.  I have some Greek yogurt and frozen milk so I'll be able to follow my normal recipe to make the base oats.  I'll add PB2 and chocolate chips to some and applesauce and cinnamon to some for an apple pie flavoring.  That will be enough to get me started until I get to the grocery store.  My friend posted one about PB2 and blueberries that I would love to try! 

OK, I may have gone a little overboard on instant pot recipes, but I'm so excited to use this thing!  And all of this sounds so great, I can't wait to make it.  We also are still on break most of this week so I will be out and about with the kids a lot of these days and I don't want to have to stress about dinner, yet I still want healthy meals.  Also, last year I was doing a "use it up" challenge and I will get back to that starting next week.  I'm honestly writing this and planning this week still in "lazy break" mode so I don't feel like checking to see what I need to use up, HA!

I wish you all a happy & healthy New Year!!  Thank you for reading about what's going on in my little corner of the world!!


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Keeping Up With...Goals (2018 Goals)

As this year draws to a close, I'm excited to look towards next year.  I had a pretty great year achieving most of my family/personal goals for the year.  My fitness year didn't go as planned but I'm looking forward and not back.  I need to do my final recaps for Nov/Dec monthly goals, but I'm waiting until the year is over to finish those posts.
As I look forward to 2018 I have been trying to decide what to do for my goals.  For 2016, I did 40 goals for the year and it was overwhelming and I felt a little all over the place.  In 2017, I did monthly goals and I was definitely more focused and achieved a lot more.  In 2018, I think I'm going to do a combination of both.  I decided to set 10 goals for the year with monthly goals towards those big goals.  I will update the goals each month and see how I need to change my focus and energy going forward. 
You will notice a theme for this year - I'm focusing on getting healthy and getting out of debt.  As I already said, my fitness goals didn't go as planned last year and I actually gained a good chunk of weight, mostly because I wasn't eating well.  This will be a huge focus for the year and will lead into the other goal because we are hoping to eat out as little as possible.  As far as finances, we had a lot of expenses in 2017 and while we didn't incur any new debt, we didn't pay off any outstanding debt so that is our goal for this year.  We also pretty much depleted our savings so we need to build that up again.  I won't go into specific monetary amounts on here, but I do want to at least vaguely talk about it so it keeps me accountable.  Thanks for understanding!
So here are my 10 goals for 2018 and what I'll do in Jan to start achieving them:
1. Lose 50 pounds
  • Meal plan each Sunday
  • Count calories every day starting Jan 2
  • Go to at least one class per week that I am not teaching
2. Read 20 books again
  • Finish 2 books ("Super Fudge" & "The Bell Jar")
  • Make progress on "Americanah" (40% on 12/30)
3. Watch 25 movies
  • Watch 3 movies
4. Go on 12 dates with Adrian
  • Text our sitter to set up Jan's date early next week
5. Pay off 1 credit card and my student loans
  • Sub at least twice each week
  • Help Adrian work at least 3 hours of OT each week
  • Spend as little as possible
6. Finish my CEUs for my YMCA certification
  • Attend one Zumba jam session 
  • Figure out how to upload all of the CEUs I already have
7. Clean out the house
  • Spend 20 minutes each weekend going thru our DVD collection (because it's everywhere!)
  • Moving to our loft (which has become a dumping ground for everything) when DVDs are done
8. Keep up an active blog
  • Meal plan posts every Sunday
  • Week in review posts every Friday
  • Monthly goal posts the last day of the month
9. Play more board games (12 family game nights)
  • Have one family board game night
10. Improve my classes
  • Attend one Zumba jam session
  • Change warm up/body weight sections for Silver Sneakers classes
I think this is a pretty well rounded list and really helps me focus on my two main goals for the year.  I have daily and weekly tasks to help me reach these goals as well.  Come back at the end of January to see how I'm doing!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 12/22 - 12/28)

Friday (12/22) Last day of school for two weeks!!  Everyone was super excited to get up and get moving today since they all had parties and special events at school.  AJ had a great time watching the spelling bee, a chorus concert and then having a party with his class.  Daniel had a "snowed in" day where they watched movies, played games and had snacks.  And Zak had a party in his class that Adrian and I were able to attend.  We had a fun time helping with the "make a reindeer" station and visiting with Zak and his friends.  Zak's favorite parts were the snacks and the fidget spinner that he got in his stocking.
We took Zak home with us after his party so he hung out with us for the rest of the day.  He played video games while we got a few things done around the house.  Before we knew it, it was time to pick up AJ after school and then Daniel.  After school,  their friend Keaton stopped by for about an hour to play while I caught up with his mom.  Then we all had dinner and a pretty relaxing night.  The elf left us a gingerbread house so we worked on that together as a family.  It did not go great, but we got it together so that's something.  The boys seemed to have fun once we got started, but it continues to be my least favorite Christmas tradition.  Maybe we'll skip it next year.  We put the kids to bed at their normal time because we're all exhausted after the week.  And Adrian and I wanted to at least get started on some wrapping tonight.  It's going to be a few late nights for us to get this all done! 
Saturday (12/23) Zak decided we should start our break at 5am.  Thankfully Adrian got up with him and I went back to sleep for hours.  It was glorious!  I got up and started doing a few things around the house while Adrian took the boys to Krispy Kreme to get us donuts for the next few mornings.  Then we spent most of the day baking, cooking and cleaning.  The boys helped us, played together and watched video games.  It was a very productive day and I feel great about where we are for Christmas prep!

After a quick dinner, we headed out on our annual Christmas light scavenger hunt.  Our elf left us a list today so we loaded up the car and started looking for the things on the list.  We went to a bunch of neighborhoods around here and saw a lot of great houses.  I feel like a lot more people decorated this year than they have the past few years, and we loved it!  We went to a few big displays in Gahanna, including one set to music.  And after about 90 minutes we had found all but one thing on the list - the Grinch!  So we enlisted some help on Facebook and found another neighborhood that had a display with the Grinch.  The boys were so excited to finish the whole list!
When we got home, we had a snack and watched the Toy Story Christmas special before putting the boys to bed.  They decided to stay up as late as possible so they will be tired tomorrow night and go straight to sleep for Santa.  This is a fine plan except that it means we have to wait longer to start wrapping our many presents tonight.  So we watched some of the Survivor finale until they fell asleep and then wrapped until we were nearly asleep ourselves.

Sunday (12/24) Merry Christmas Eve!!  We all slept in a little and then had a relaxing morning before getting ready to head to the 11am service at our church.  We had an amazing service with great music (including a TSO song & the BNL version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen), informative sermon and a beautiful candle-lighting ceremony.  It was great to see so many friends there as well.  After that service, Adrian took the boys home and I stayed to volunteer in childcare for the 1pm service.

After church, we loaded up the car and headed to my brother's house for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner with them.  We found two different Grinch inflatables on our way out there which made us all laugh after last night.  We had an awesome time eating, drinking and relaxing with Carl, Sarah, Isabelle and Vinnie.  The boys got awesome gifts - light sabers, beyblades, R/C cars and the Despicable Me 3 movie.  Isabelle and Vinnie loved their gifts from us as well.  And we also opened our ornaments from my Aunt Sue.  I love our ornaments this year, they perfectly sum up our year!
After gifts and dessert, it was time to head home to get ready for tomorrow.  It had snowed while we were there so it made for a pretty, if a little slow, drive home.  We got home and sprinkled our lawn with reindeer food and set up milk and cookies for Santa.  The boys were eager to get to sleep so that Santa would come.  When they fell asleep, we finished up the wrapping and set everything up under the tree.  When we were done, we finished watching Survivor finale while enjoying some wine and a snack and then headed up to bed since we knew the boys would be up early in the morning.
Monday (12/25) Merry Christmas!!  We were pleasantly shocked that the boys slept until almost 8am.  Daniel and Zak were the first two up and we headed downstairs and waited about 30 minutes until AJ woke up as well.  As soon as he got up, we divided up the presents and got to work opening.  The boys loved everything they got, but they were most excited about their new Switch and fidget spinners.  We spent the day relaxing, playing games, playing video games, eating junk food and enjoying our time together.  We got to video chat with both my parents and Adrian's parents which was nice for all of us.  And we finished our night by watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
Before bedtime, we all had to say our goodbyes to Doctor Donkey until next year.  I know most elves go back to the North Pole with Santa on Christmas Eve but this year Daniel made a special request that our elf stay thru Christmas Day so he could see us open our gifts.  We all thought this was a great idea so he got special permission to stay and fly home to the North Pole tonight.  Unfortunately this caused a little breakdown for Zak who realized that Christmas is over and there will be no more presents until next year (also possibly caused by being over-tired, over-stimulated & over-sugared).  He was so upset that Adrian had to sleep with him in the spare room to calm him down.  It seems like this happened once with each of the other boys as well, it must be this age. 

Tuesday (12/26) We all slept in a bit today but then I had to get up and moving right away to head to my Silver Sneakers class.  I had a great group, but I'm glad I only did one class.  After class, I came home and had a quick lunch and picked up Daniel and we went to see CoCo.  Unfortunately, it was sold out when we got there so we turned around and headed home.  We had a relaxing day of playing games, video games, eating and relaxing.  We put away all of our new things from yesterday and I set up my brand new instant pot.  I couldn't wait so I made risotto in it tonight for dinner and it was awesome!  I can't wait to cook more in it!  After dinner, we watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and then got the boys to bed.  Adrian and I finished cleaning up and then watched a few DVR shows before calling it a night as well.
Wednesday (12/27) Adrian had to go back to work today, but the rest of us were still off.  We all slept in and then had a very lazy day around the house.  The boys played a lot of Beyblades and Monopoly while I did a few things around the house.  Then I joined them in a few board games.  We were going to go downtown to see some of the Christmas stuff down there but it is super cold and Daniel has a really bad cough so we decided to skip that.  We enjoyed tacos for dinner and just relaxed for the night.  After we got the kids to bed, Adrian and I watched a few more things from our DVR and then headed to bed since we both need to work tomorrow.

Thursday (12/28) The boys and I had to get up and moving sooner than we have in almost a week today and it was a struggle.  But we managed to get up and out to my Silver Sneakers classes on time this morning.  After class we came home and were honestly super lazy.  The boys watched video games and I played games on my Kindle.  It was super relaxing and lazy, I think this is exactly what we needed this week.  Adrian worked late so we decided to change our plans for tonight and just stay home.  We hung out, played with the boys, watched TV and relaxed some more.  Adrian and I started catching up on "This is Us" tonight since we have 6 or 7 episodes to watch.  Such a good show! 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 12/15 - 12/21)

Friday (12/15) It's finally Friday!!  This has been a super long week with all of us feeling worn out and tired.  I've felt behind all week as well, it's so hard to come back from vacation.  But I'm hoping after this weekend, we feel caught up and in control again and we're all over our vacation hangover.  We got AJ up and out to school and when Adrian left for work, I went back to sleep for an hour.  I felt so much better after that!  I got the other boys to school and then came home and worked like crazy around the house.  I got all caught up on laundry, dishes and snuck some TV time to watch some recorded Real Housewives from vacation.

I picked everyone up from school and we had a very lazy night at home together.  We watched TV, played video games and ate a quick dinner.  Adrian and I ordered from Max and Erma's to support our church in a fundraiser for a mission trip to Haiti.  We put the boys to bed at their normal time in hopes that we will all get a good night of sleep.  Adrian and I finished up the night with some wine and some DVR shows.  We have so many to catch up on now!  We also did the boys favorite elf "prank" and toilet papered our Christmas tree.  Tomorrow night he will replace the toilet paper with candy canes for them.
Saturday (12/16) We changed our mind a bunch of times about what we were going to do today and after a not great night of sleep we woke up unsure of what we would do.  The one definite was a service project with AJ's Scout pack.  We went to visit a local senior care home and delivered cookies, cards and some Christmas cheer.  It was a nice morning with the seniors.  While I was there with the boys, Adrian went to his first coaches meeting of the season for Crossover basketball.  Even though the boys don't want to play this year, he still wants to volunteer his time as a coach.

After we did that, we decided to bag all of our other plans and stay home and try to get stuff done and get ready for Christmas.  Adrian and I took turns taking the boys out shopping for each other and for us and we managed to just about finish our shopping today.  I only need a few stocking stuffers which I'll pick up early next week.  We spent the rest of the day working around the house while the boys played video games, watched TV and worked on a giant puzzle.  We were pretty tired at the end of the day so after getting the boys to bed, we watched a few DVR shows and called it a night.  Will this vacation hang over ever end??

Sunday (12/17) We all slept in today and finally feel well rested after the past two weeks.  We had planned to go to first service for church, but we just didn't make it on time.  So we all headed to second service together where the boys celebrated Jesus' birthday while Adrian and I heard a sermon about how to be less stressed during the holiday season.  It was a great message as always!  Then we grabbed a few snacks in the car and headed up to Cabela's to see Santa.  Unfortunately when we got there, the line was over an hour wait and the boys did not want to do that (and honestly neither did Adrian or I).  So we walked around the store a little and then headed back home.
We got home and had a quick lunch and then went to work on finishing up our to do lists.  The boys all had a lot of homework to do this weekend so we made sure that was all done.  We also watched the Jets lose (again) and then watched the end of a few really great late games.  Adrian made us amazing ribs for dinner which we enjoyed with a salad.  The boys played some video games and played with their toys for most of the day.  We finished up the night watching the Cowboys game while I was working on our Christmas cards.  I made it just past halftime before heading to bed but Adrian stayed up to see the whole game.  I'm glad they were able to pull off a win and stay in the playoff hunt!

Monday (12/18) Last week of school before break!  I got everyone up and out on time to school and work before heading to the dealer to finally get the oil changed in my van.  I got a few things done while I was waiting and then ran a few errands when the van was done before heading into Zak's class to volunteer.  I finished up the evaluations I was doing with the kids and got to see Daniel at lunch too.  It was a fun morning in the school as always.

After volunteering, I came home and did a few things and then got ready to teach my Zumba class.  It was a small but might class and we had fun dancing to the students' favorite songs.  After class we ran home and got ready to head to Zak's Cub Scout Christmas party.  We enjoyed a lot of junk for dinner and had fun playing games, making gingerbread trees and making slime.  The boys want to do it again over break so I'll be picking up some glue for us this week.  We got home and were all sugared up and exhausted!  We got the boys to bed, finished cleaning up and watched a few shows on our DVR before heading to bed ourselves.
Tuesday (12/19) Today was a little harder to get everyone up and moving but we did it and everyone got to school and work on time.  After I got everyone where they needed to be, I headed to teach my two Silver Sneakers classes.  When class was over, I went to get a hair cut and finally went back to my short 'do, cutting off just over 10 inches.  I will be donating it as soon as I can get to the post office in the new year.  I'm super excited to have short hair again, I love it already!!

When my hair was done, I ran a few errands and then headed home to pick everyone up from school.  We loaded up the car and headed to Easton to finally see Santa!  We got there and they had about a 15 minute wait so we joined the virtual line (brilliant!) and headed to Cheryl's to get our free cookies from the boys' first quarter report cards.  By the time we were done eating one cookie, it was time to head back to the front of the Santa line.  The boys did a great job visiting with him and we got a great picture for our wall.

After our picture, we fought the traffic back home and had dinner with Dad.  The boys then helped Adrian set up our two new decorations that our elf brought yesterday.  And then we all enjoyed an ice cream party with the gift the elf brought today - ice cream, magic shell & a new ice cream scoop.  We watched Shrek the Halls while we were eating.  It was a fun family night!  After we got the boys to bed, Adrian and I cleaned up and then watched a DVR show.  We were so tired we didn't make it through the whole half hour before calling it a night!

Wednesday (12/20) Somehow Adrian and I both slept thru our alarms this morning so we were late getting moving.  Thankfully he was able to drive AJ to school on time while I got the other boys ready for school and out the door.  AJ had a read-a-thon at school today so he got to wear his pajamas to school and bring his pillow and blanket as well as books to read for the afternoon.  He read for just under two hours today & his 5th grade classmates raised just over $1,000 for water for South Sudan.  And Zak had an excited lunch - he lost a tooth while he was eating!  Unfortunately he actually lost it so he didn't haven't any tooth to bring home.  But I'm pretty sure the tooth fairy will still come.
While everyone was at school, I ran the rest of my errands and finished up my shopping for the next two weeks (hopefully!)  Then I came home and got a bunch of stuff done around the house.  I was supposed to sub in the afternoon but they didn't end up needing me so I got some extra stuff done around the house.  I picked the boys up at the end of the day and we all headed to the Y for my last Zumba class for the year.  It was another small but mighty class and we had a great time!

After class, we headed home and had dinner.  Then we finished up all of their projects for the week, whew!  And I worked on some of the teacher gifts.  It was a busy and productive night.  The boys decided to start a penny hockey tournament so I was able to keep working around the house.  Adrian was out all night at a happy hour for work and then his Bible study.  He came home just in time for bedtime, although he had to work from home after we got the boys in bed.  It was another early night for me, I'm just really wiped out this week.

Thursday (12/21) We are skating by but we are almost done this week and are ready for our winter break!  Everyone got up and out to school on time today and after I dropped everyone off I headed to teach my two Silver Sneakers classes.  My students surprised me with a very nice Christmas gift of a candle and a gift card to the local movie theater.  I am really touched that they did that for me.  We had two great classes and then I ran home to have a quick lunch before heading in to volunteer in Daniel's class for the afternoon.
Daniel's class was doing a few special activities this week instead of a holiday party so I went in to help them with an ice experiment and then an activity about snow.  We read an article, answered some questions and then made snowflakes together.  It was a lot of fun, I enjoyed being in there with Daniel and getting to know some of the kids in his class.  When the day was over we walked home and had a mini heart attack when AJ wasn't here.  Thankfully his bus showed up a few minutes later, they were just running very late.

After everyone was home, we did the few things that they boys needed to do for the night and then they just played and watched TV for the night.  I got dinner ready and then got ready to head to the church to work.  Adrian go stuck working very late, although thankfully he was able to come home and finish up from there so I could go to work too.  It was a bit of a hectic night but we made it work.  I finished up all of the teacher gifts so the boys can take them in tomorrow and got everything cleaned up and ready for our last day of school before break.  Once again I was exhausted so I headed to bed on the early side.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 11/24 - 11/30)

Friday (11/24) We all slept in a little today after a long, busy day yesterday.  We had a fairly lazy morning of TV and video games and then shortly after lunch I took AJ and Daniel to see the movie "Wonder."  AJ has been very excited to go see it since he just read the book in school.  We all loved the movie - highly recommend it!  AJ and I both cried, although it seems I may have cried a little more than he did.  We also had a great conversation on the way home about choosing to be kind all the time.
While we were at the movie, Adrian took Zak to Target to start his Christmas shopping.  He also got new sneakers so he is ready to go for our Disney trip.  When we all got home, Adrian started hanging the Christmas lights outside, I finished cleaning up the dishes from yesterday and the boys had a great time playing Minecraft together.  We had an easy dinner of leftovers then had a family game night.  We played Forbidden Island & Castle Panic and won both games!  It was fun to be able to play something together as a family.  Then we watched the Trolls holiday special and got the kids to bed.  Adrian had another basketball game to watch and I relaxed for a bit, enjoyed a glass of wine and headed to bed early again.

Saturday (11/25) Everyone slept in today and we had a pretty lazy morning. We got a few things done around the house and then it was time for "the game" - OSU vs Michigan.  I jumped in and out of watching it while also working around the house and taking care of the kids so Adrian could watch undisturbed.  It turned out to be a pretty good game and thankfully OSU won again!  When the game was over, all of the guys headed outside to decorate while I worked in the house.  They got all of the outside decorations up and also went on a bike ride since the weather was so nice.

We had more leftovers for dinner and then we were planning on having a movie night where we watched Daniel's choice of Transformers.  Unfortunately Redbox didn't have the first movie so we decided to wait on it until we can get it from either the library or the video store.  So instead, Adrian and I picked the movie and we watched "Elf" as a family.  Everyone loved it!  It's been years since I've watched it and I forgot how funny it is.  We all laughed a lot and had a great family movie night.  When we got the kids in bed, Adrian and I did a bunch of things on our list that required us to chat and figure things out.  So we did that while sharing a bottle of wine.  We watched a few comedies from our DVR to finish our night and headed to bed. 

Sunday (11/26) Started super early with AJ coming up at 4am to wake me up and tell me he was puking.  So not the way we wanted to start our Sunday.  I got him cleaned up and calmed down & he fell back asleep in my bed so I moved to the spare room and got a few more hours of sleep.  He still wasn't feeling well so I was going to stay home from church with him and the others were going to go, until they went outside to find our front tire on our van flat.  I don't know what is going on with this van but this is the third flat tire we've had in like 8 months.  So Adrian headed out to get that fixed while I dealt with the kids at home and tried to get a few things done.

I spent the afternoon yelling at the TV while watching the Jets lose another game that they should have won.  When that misery was over, we finished putting up our Christmas decorations including putting all of the ornaments on the trees and putting up all of our inside decorations.  The house is looking very festive!  AJ spent the day resting on the couch and seems to be OK.  We finished up our to do lists and feel like we're in pretty good shape to leave early Friday morning for vacation.  Will see how the rest of this week goes though.  We got the boys back on their regular schedule and to bed early for school tomorrow.  We watched a few DVR shows to try to empty it as much as we can before we leave and headed to bed early as well.
Monday (11/27) Started a little later than normal since AJ still wasn't feeling 100% so he didn't go to school today.  I got Daniel and Zak up and out to school in their pajamas for right to read week.  They were super excited to wear pajamas to school today!  AJ slept in until almost 10am and seems to be feeling much better.  One more day of rest and he should be back to normal.  He spent the day on the couch watching TV shows and video games while I got as much done around the house as I could to get us ready to leave in just 4 short days!
Before I knew it, it was time to pick up the other boys from school.  The weather was so nice I decided to walk to pick them up.  Then we headed to the Y for my Zumba class.  I had a fun class with the student's picks for songs today.  Then on the way home, Zak threw up all over the car.  It was no fun for any of us in the car, especially him.  He seems fine after throwing up so we are hoping he is OK going forward and that this either ends with him or Daniel gets it ASAP so we are all healthy for Friday.

After we got home, I did what I could to clean up the car but I had to head to Eastpointe to work as the facility rep for a few hours tonight.  Adrian help down the fort at home, including cleaning up the car and taking care of the boys.  They had a relaxing night and headed to bed early.  AJ will be going back to school tomorrow, Zak will be staying home.  While I was at work, the stomach bug hit me.  I made it thru my shift and practically crawled home and into bed.

Tuesday (11/28)  I was awoken in the middle of the night to hear that the stomach bug had also hit Adrian.  So now if you're counting, that is everyone except Daniel.  Adrian and I spent the day taking turns sleeping upstairs and supervising Zak downstairs.  He was feeling fine all day, but we couldn't send him to school since he threw up yesterday.  It was a long, rough day but we survived.  AJ and Daniel went to school and AJ was also able to go to Cub Scouts thanks to our friend who drove him there and back.  I went to bed by like 7:30 in hopes of getting a good night of sleep and waking up feeling better.

Wednesday (11/29) We all felt OK this morning so we decided to go ahead with our day as scheduled.  Adrian and I got AJ off to school and then he headed into work.  I got Daniel and Zak ready and off to school and then headed off to run a bunch of errands.  I got everything done, but it was a slow process with lots of breaks of sitting in my car.  My last errand was stopping into Zak's classroom to read them two books for right to read week.  The kids were super excited to see me and I enjoyed reading two Pete the Cat books to them.

After I got home, I relaxed a lot on the couch and tried to recover from the day.  I got everyone picked up from school and said a prayer of thanks that my dear friend was able to sub my Zumba class for me tonight as I do not have the energy to teach.  I did manage to take the boys to mail their letters to Santa tonight.  Hopefully when we get home we will have return letters waiting for us!  When we got home, we had a quick dinner of leftovers on our quest to continue cleaning out the fridge and then had a relaxing night together.  We did a few things to get ready to leave but mostly just relaxed and rested for our last day of work and school tomorrow.  Adrian and I watched Survivor together after we got the kids to bed, it was a great double episode!
Thursday (11/30) Started early as usual but this should be the last time for 10 days, yay!  Adrian and I got AJ out to school and then he headed to work.  I got Daniel and Zak ready and off to the last day of right to read week for them.  I headed to teach my Silver Sneakers classes even though I wasn't feeling 100%.  I struggled a little teaching them but I survived.  And it was worth it to see all of my seniors smiling faces today.  After both classes, I ran to the corner salon for a quick pedicure.  It was super relaxing to sit and veg out for the hour that she took care of my feet and they look amazing and ready for Florida!

After that I came home and got started on my massive to do list.  I picked AJ up from school since he had a lot of books to bring home to do his school work while we are gone.  Then soon after I picked up Daniel and Zak.  They had a great day at school with the visiting author and really wanted to go back tonight for family literacy night.  Unfortunately we just had too much to do to make it work this year.  So we had a quick dinner of more leftovers and then got started on our packing list.  The boys were very helpful and we finished quickly.  We took a short break in the packing to watch "Charlie Brown Christmas" together as a family before putting the boys to bed.  Adrian and I finished up what we could and then watched the Cowboys game.  Trying to get to bed early for an early morning tomorrow!!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 11/17 - 11/23)

Friday (11/17) We went to bed really early last night and I got a great night of sleep!  I'm glad because I have a lot to do this weekend so I'm happy to be fully rested.  I got everyone up and out to school and work on time, although AJ was saying he didn't feel well.  He decided to go to school anyway but I waited all day for the call from the nurse.  Thankfully it never came and he was feeling fine when I picked him up.  After I dropped everyone off, I ran to Meijer to finish my shopping for this weekend and to Target to start some Christmas shopping.  Then I came home and got a bunch of stuff done around the house to start prepping for Thanksgiving #1 tomorrow.

Soon it was time to pick up the boys from school.  I was excited it was just over 50 degrees so we were able to walk home from school this afternoon.  When we got home I packed us up quickly and we headed to the Y for my barre class.  It was a small but mighty class and we got a great workout.  Then we came home and I made homemade mac and cheese for us for dinner before we settled in for family movie night.  We watched AJ's pick this week, "Hercules."  It was very entertaining, we all enjoyed it!  After the movie we got the boys to bed and finished our prep for dinner tomorrow.  We watched a few shows from our DVR and headed to bed for a good night of rest before a busy day tomorrow!
Saturday (11/18) We were up and moving early this morning because it was a busy day!  I left first heading to the church to work as a facility rep for the morning.  I got everyone settled where they needed to be and soon Adrian arrived with the boys for AJ's final raingutter regatta.  He raced against 3 of his den members and came in 2nd out of the 4 boys, losing to one of his best friends, David.  He had fun racing and seeing all of his Scout friends this morning, as did I.
After the regatta, we came home and had a quick lunch and then finished up prepping for Thanksgiving with Carl, Sarah, Isabelle and Vinnie.  They came over in the afternoon and the kids had a blast playing together while the adults sat around chatting, eating and drinking wine.  The food was all excellent and it was a very nice and relaxed evening.  We also celebrated Carl's birthday about a week early with a yummy peanut butter surprise cake and some cookie brownies.  Soon after dessert they headed back home since Vinnie was exhausted.  We cleaned up our kitchen, got the boys to bed, had a little more wine & watched a few DVR shows.  We headed to bed exhausted and happy, it was a really great day.
Sunday (11/19) Started super early when AJ woke up at 5am.  Adrian came downstairs with his & went back to sleep on the couch while AJ watched some TV.  Once we were all up and moving we got to work on our to do lists.  We had a nice mix of being productive and playing games with the boys today.  While we were working around the house, they played video games.  We finished up everything on our to do lists and are in great shape to cook dinner on Thursday for family and then start getting ready for Disney.  We finished the night with the Cowboys Eagles game.
Monday (11/20) Short week for us and it started super early with Zak waking us up around 3:30am.  He made Adrian go downstairs with him while he watched TV and Adrian slept on the couch.  I dozed off for a little but didn't get much good sleep after he woke me up.  We got AJ up a little later for school so Adrian could drive him in with a few bags of cookies for his teachers.  Then I got Daniel and Zak ready and dropped off to school.  I headed into the school for an IEP meeting for Daniel who will start having speech therapy twice per week to work on his "r" sound.  We're hopeful he'll only need a year but will reevaluate this time next year.

After the meeting, I headed to the stores to do all of the grocery shopping that needs to be done until after we get back from Disney.  I'm sure there will be something else we'll need, but hopefully it will just be a quick trip sometime next week.  It took forever but I got everything done.  Of course it probably would have been quicker if I didn't run into a handful of friends in the stores, but that's part of the fun of shopping this time of year!
I finally got home and got started trying to put all of this stuff away.  I also had to get ready to teach my afternoon Zumba class so it was a bit hectic.  I picked everyone up from school and we headed to the Y for a fun Zumba class!  Then we rushed back home to get ready for Zak's Lions meeting but got a message from his leader that the meeting had been cancelled.  I did a little happy dance and then took a deep breath and slowed down for a minute.  We had a delicious dinner, finished putting away all of the groceries and all headed to bed early.  Tomorrow is our Friday!

Tuesday (11/21) Last day of school and work for us until Monday!  We got everyone up and out on time to school and then Adrian and I headed to work.  I taught my last two Silver Sneakers classes of the week and then ran my last few errands of the week.  Then I headed over to my friend's house for lunch with her.  She showed me how to use the Instant Pot and we sampled two delicious meals that we cooked in it.  I also compared the 6 quart and the 8 quart and decided I will be fine with the 6 quart, at least to get started.

After the great lunch, I headed home to get everyone from school.  I was excited that it was warm enough to walk to pick up Daniel and Zak.  The boys were all excited that they have no homework all weekend!  Daniel was also excited to tell me about the visit they had from a local meteorologist.  They recorded a short segment for the local news and we were able to spot Daniel in the crowd.  We were all excited to see him on TV!
The boys hung out playing video games and playing Beyblade while I got tacos ready for dinner.  We ate and then I headed out to work at Eastpointe for a few hours before meeting two of my girlfriends for a movie night.  We finally got to see "Bad Moms Christmas."  It was super funny and we enjoyed the night out, especially the recliners and the wine.  It was a really nice break in the crazy of these few weeks!!
Wednesday (11/22) We all got to sleep in today and have no schedule to follow for the next five days!  We are super excited for this downtime!  We started the day watching some TV together then alternated between being productive and relaxing.  The boys played a lot of video games, exercised, started cleaning out the play room and wrote letters to Santa.  Adrian got a haircut, set up our Christmas tree, played with the boys and helped with the Thanksgiving food prep.  I did all of my daily tasks around the house, prepped as much food as possible for tomorrow and made our to do lists for the weekend.  After a dinner of leftovers we all sat down together and watched "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving."  It makes me laugh because the boys laugh so hard.  After we got them to bed, we finished up all of the prep for tomorrow, had a few drinks and watched "Survivor."  I hunkered down to stay up until 1am when my instant pot deal went live at Kohl's, which I was able to get!
Thursday (11/23)  Happy Thanksgiving!!  The day started early, or at least it felt early after staying up so late.  We started with a lazy morning of TV and donuts and then watched the parade together as a family.  Well, at least we started to watch it as a family.  AJ and Zak got bored after about 45 minutes, and Daniel after about the first half.  Adrian and I watched the whole thing and called the boys to see Santa arrive at the end.  After the parade, it was time to start cooking and get ready for our company!
I'm very thankful we did almost all of the prep yesterday as it made today very easy.  It was mostly just making sure we put everything in the oven on time.  Adrian and I even had time to play a board game together - I learned how to play Pandemic & it was a lot of fun!  Late in the afternoon, my in-laws, sister in law and nephew arrived for dinner.  We had a nice time catching up and watching football before it was time to eat.  We all ate too much - everything was delicious!  And we enjoyed some of my father in law's homemade Roscata wine, also delicious.
Soon after dinner, they all headed home and we tried to get the kitchen somewhat back together.  I was really tired though so I didn't do as much as I normally would have.  We hung out for a bit watching the end of the Dallas football game (it was pretty bad so we watched it on fast forward).  When the game was over I decided I was done for the day and crashed as soon as my head hit the pillow.  Adrian stayed up because OSU played a basketball game around midnight.  He had fun watching the game, even though they lost big.  It was a rough sports day for us!